Month: June 2011

Fleeting Summer Focus

While I’m a firm believer in the adage well begun is half done, that doesn’t mean I’ve gotten any further than half way through with this rewrite. *Sigh.* I’d like to believe it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

This spring was a record setter for rain. Now that it’s dried out, I want to work in the garden and take walks by the creek. On Tuesday, I saw two of the tiniest deer–they were only as tall as the dog. They were so young, they didn’t have their spots yet. The next morning, husband saw one from the kitchen window and thought it was a fox.

The wild roses are in bloom and smell divine. Sweet peas, buttercups, daisies… Fireflies dancing around at night so brilliantly… A partially built pergola and a roofless garden shed… It is these things that are taking up my time and thoughts. And I just spotted a wild strawberry… If I promise to incorporate these sights and smells and textures into a future piece, can I cut myself some slack about the lack of progress on the rewrite? Probably not. I’m very adept at beating myself up for the smallest things…

It is the 16th of June. NYFA has not announced the winners of the fellowships yet. I hate waiting for announcements. I hope it isn’t like the first time I entered the poetry category. After a painfully long wait, the deadline for the announcement weeks past, a new announcement came up, it would be a month later than what they originally anticipated… Madness!

I think part of my problem is that I haven’t made a list of how to go about this rewrite, and I should. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do after I post this, and send relevant articles I came across to two women in my writer’s group, and check the status of my submissions on Submishmash, and look at the recent responses on Duotrope…


Is There A Word For That?

After procrastinating just long enough, I started my revision of Ellie’s Elephants on Tuesday. By the third page, I called my best friend and started a discussion about a name change for one of the characters. After that bit of distraction, I returned, dragging my feet to the screen and started going through 80 pages.

(Yes, in one day I did 80 pages of revisions and yes, I do want a medal for that!)

After I finished up for the day, I had other bits of dialogue and descriptions popping into my head that I wrote down. I went to bed and within half an hour, I was sitting up in bed scrawling down more notes. It is no wonder that I overslept on Wednesday. With a late start, I only got to midway on page 99. From there until midway page 101, I have to pull it out and rewrite it from a different point of view, but it just wasn’t coming to me, so I let it go. I haven’t opened the file yet today.

The background:

The first time I participated in National Novel Writing Month, I was working on what I see as a second book in a trilogy. All of the sudden, characters and scenes and snippets of dialogue for another book kept trying to distract me. I jotted them down because I knew I’d just be derailing my efforts if I followed that story–which later became Ellie’s Elephants. I finished that draft and after the holidays, I attempted to write the first draft of the third book in the trilogy. I didn’t get that far because I just couldn’t find an ending, and without an ending that tied things up neatly, it was pointless to continue.

So, with such a firm grasp of what I wanted to accomplish with Elllie’s Elephants, I did not have the same stray thoughts. However, when I went to bed on Tuesday, the ending of the trilogy appeared out of nowhere. After I became stuck on the pages 99-101, I took a shower hoping I’d have a Mary Akers moment–she says she always has good writing thoughts and ideas when she’s in the shower and can’t write them down. Instead of coming up with the idea or spark I needed to fix my current problem, I had many nuanced ideas that would add texture to the trilogy and the ending became even clearer.

I’m looking for the name of this phenomenon–if there is one. Why would that happen? Does my brain just not understand what I’m working on, and I need to finish? Why am I getting the answers to questions that I quit considering a long time ago?

I doubt there will be a neurologist passing by and answer me, but if you’re a writer, does thing happen to you, too?

It’s all so perplexing.

Anyway, new things were accepted and I am keeping up with my links page, so please feel free to check it out.

And always, thank you for coming by and visiting.